Category Archives: Ustream in the News

Ustream CEO Talks Shark Week in the Washington Post

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For the 28th year in a row, viewers around the world are tuning in for Shark Week, Discovery’s annual event celebrating one of the ocean’s most fascinating creatures.

While live video has been a part of the Shark Week festivities for several years — last year’s streams attracted more than 67,000 unique viewers — Ustream is adding a new dimension to this year’s event.

“Shark-lovers this year can tune into the live camera at the National Aquarium’s Blacktip Reef Shark tank,” writes The Washington Post‘s Hayley Tsukayama, “not only to watch the sharks swim, but also to chat live with scheduled experts who will be fielding questions underwater.”

The next diver chat will air on Wednesday, July 8 at 3:20 pm Eastern Time on the National Aquarium’s Blacktip Reef Shark channel on Ustream. Viewers can submit questions to the divers on the channel’s live feed or on Twitter using the hashtag #SharkDiverChat.

This event is the latest evidence of a broadening of the media experience beyond traditional channels. In engaging with brands, today’s audiences enjoy — and expect — real-time digital interactions, including social media as well as live streaming video.

In a chat with CEO Brad Hunstable, Tsukayama highlighted Ustream’s partnerships not only with media companies like Discovery, but also enterprises such as Intuit and Home Depot. “With our company,” Hunstable said, “a significant portion of it comes from enterprises.”

Read the full article here.

Ustream CEO to Bloomberg: Streaming Video Opportunities are in Enterprise

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In an interview on Bloomberg Business’ “Market Makers,” Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable shared some thoughts on Verizon’s $4.4 billion acquisition of AOL and the deal’s implications for the streaming video industry. (Watch the video here.)

“AOL is in a more stable position than it may have been previously,” Hunstable said. “They’ve been deliberately going into mobile, they’ve been deliberately going into video, and for companies like us, who partner with AOL, it’s a good thing.”

When asked about where the opportunities lie in the streaming video industry, Hunstable added, “For us, it’s really the enterprise space. We’re really focused on the business market, the B2B market. That’s where our growth is — companies like Salesforce, Cisco, Facebook, these are our customers. We’re helping businesses use video to connect in more engaging ways.”

Watch the full interview

Ustream CEO talks transparency, mobile and more on HuffPost Live

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Recently HuffPost Live host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani sat down with Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable to discuss his take on issues such as the growing buzz around mobile streaming apps and the rise of citizen journalism. (Watch the video here; the interview begins just after the 21-minute mark.)

On the latest mobile streaming apps

Hunstable sees the popularity of new mobile streaming apps as a testament to the growing significance of video and the power it places in the hands of mobile users. “It’s another data point for how hot video is,” he remarked. “If you think about it right now, everyone’s carrying around a satellite truck in their pocket.”

On the responsibilities of citizen journalists

“One of the things that video brings — particularly live video — is some element of transparency,” Hunstable told Modarressy, “but it needs balance. It needs context.”

Recalling Ustream’s role in bringing global attention to uprisings in Russia and the Ukraine in recent years, he noted that “getting that unfiltered, that real-time access to what is happening is not a bad thing.” At the same time, “you need to get all the other facts that are associated with [the issue].”

On Ustream’s biggest moment so far

When Modarressy asked Hunstable what was, in his opinion, the most powerful use of Ustream to date, the self-proclaimed “space junkie” cited the Mars rover landing. “To be able to watch that moment and experience it — there were millions and millions of people watching it,” he said. “To experience this collective consciousness of people watching us visiting another planet was absolutely exciting and powerful.”

Watch the full interview here.

AdWeek: Live Streaming Video Is Nothing New

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In the last few months we’ve seen ample buzz about streaming video … but is all the hype warranted? Not really, according to a recent AdWeek article.

Writer Kimberlee Morrison noted that Ustream has been providing streaming video since 2007 and has now evolved past the consumer phase to focus on the needs of enterprises. Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable commented that the recent buzz over new apps simply highlights the growing popularity of online video. “In a lot of ways,” he told Morrison, “the Internet is becoming video.”

Hunstable also commented that, while newer apps offer integration with social platforms, they lack the analytics that companies need to attain real business goals. “Ustream,” on the other hand, “is building capabilities for brands to be media companies in their own right.”

Read the full article here.

Bloomberg: Ustream a “Pioneer” in Live Video

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In the recent article “Meerkat, Periscope, Been There, Done That,” Bloomberg Business contributor Olga Kharif reminded readers that new apps Meerkat and Periscope are not the first tools to enable live video streaming from smartphones — far from it.

While the new apps have attracted considerable buzz, both in the media and among consumers, Ustream ranks among the “pioneers” of streaming video, dating back to 2007. And while newcomers focus on consumers, CEO Brad Hunstable points out that Ustream has evolved to a new level, offering a secure, high-performance tool to help enterprises reach customers and employees.

Read the article here

Software-Defined CDNs: Scale and Quality at a Savings

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Ustream has earned a reputation for being able to accommodate some of the world’s largest streaming events with as many as 1 million concurrent viewers and 14 million total viewers during large events and regularly hosts 70 million viewers per month. And, while that alone is impressive, what’s more interesting is that Ustream has developed technology that meet the needs when audiences start quickly, grow quickly and then leave once the live event is over.

The solution for these problems has been seven years in the making at Ustream. It’s a unique technology we call Software Defined CDN, or SD-CDN. This blog from online video “voice of the industry” analyst and blogger, Dan Rayburn speculates on the possibilities of this technology platform as a stand-alone service or bandwidth exchange.

 

The Politics of Mobile Streaming

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Live mobile broadcasting was one of the hottest topics at last week’s South by Southwest event. And while live video — even mobile live video — is nothing new, conversations around its applications are springing up in several sectors, including politics.

Some pundits are holding up the latest mobile streaming video apps as political game-changers as the 2016 election season approaches. Are they right?

Not quite, says Matt Browner Hamlin in a recent article on Medium. Smart campaigners have actually been leveraging the power of live video streaming since the very beginning. Hamlin goes on to describe how he, as deputy Internet director for Christopher Dodd’s campaign way back in in 2007, Ustreamed speeches and Q&A sessions:

People following the presidential primary were able to engage in the same dialogue with a candidate as residents of the early states. Using UStream’s embedded chat functionality, as well as monitoring comments on the sites where our streams were embedded, we were able to bring in questions from people across the country into Dodd’s Q&A sessions with voters in New Hampshire and caucus-goers in Iowa.

Read the rest of Hamlin’s article here.

Ustream: Mobile Since 2009

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If you kept up with some of the discussions at South by Southwest (SXSW) this past week, you surely noticed a lot of buzz around live streaming video from mobile devices. And while some are talking about mobile streaming like it’s cutting-edge stuff, you might be surprised to learn that Ustream has been doing this for years.

Back in 2009, Ustream introduced the world’s first mobile app capable of streaming live video from the iPhone to the Internet. Almost six years later, it seems the rest of the world is finally catching up.

Since its introduction, Ustream Live Broadcaster has seen more than 15 million downloads and last year, Ustream delivered more than 75 million mobile live broadcasts.

In a recent conversation with Will Oremus of Slate magazine, Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable shared that he isn’t surprised by the sudden success of other mobile apps, nor is he worried.

And yes, he thinks casual mobile live streaming is here to stay. “It’s a different thing, like Vine versus YouTube,” he said of the difference between Meerkat and Ustream. In his view, Meerkat will bring attention to live streaming and lower the barrier to people creating videos themselves, and that will benefit the whole sector. Between the coming 5G mobile data networks and cameras that can shoot 1080p video, he said, “there are a lot of very natural forces that are pushing this industry toward an explosion.”

Not that Ustream is resting on its laurels. Earlier this week, Ustream opened its live mobile broadcasting SDK and APIs to the public, allowing any company to build a Meerkat-like or other creative live video solution and to leverage Ustream’s live video platform for immediate scalability. TechCrunch’s Kyle Russell broke the news for Ustream in this article which was shared and gained enough traction for the SDK to land on new tech product sharing site Product Hunt and gain upvotes from around the world. Click here to cast your vote. The APIs and SDK will be free for developers to use in creating and testing their applications.

So while a couple tiny startups ride the media wave from SXSW, we’ll continue to innovate on the proven, technology platform that started it all. As noted in last week’s NPR All Tech Considered article by Tajha Chappallet-Lanier, we’re delivering video solutions highly tailored to the needs of marketers, executives, HR professionals, and professional broadcasters. And, we’ll adding powerful, enterprise-class features like security, SD-CDN, eCDN and SSO that enable organizations to use business-ready video solutions.

Super Bowl Highlights Need for Scalable Streaming

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When the New England Patriots squared off against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIV, more than 1.3 million people experienced the event through NBC’s live streaming video — a 50 percent increase over last year’s online viewership.

According to NBC’s press release, the stream also set Super Bowl records for average viewers per minute (800,000), concurrent users (1.3 million) and total minutes (213 million).

While it was an impressive achievement for live streaming video, it was not without its challenges. As the game progressed, the overwhelming demand resulted in some online viewers experiencing time delays and other technical difficulties.

“NBC is great at streaming live events,” Ustream CTO Gyula Feher told The Daily Dot in an interview regarding the event. “They were the first to stream the Super Bowl in 2012. And, the Super Bowl is the ‘Everest’ of live events: Let’s remember that Super Bowl XLVIII was the most watched television event ever. It’s likely that the peak load on the NBC livestream was similarly record-breaking.”

One of the biggest challenges in streaming a live event, however, is anticipating the bandwidth required, which can vary dramatically from one minute to the next. For example, during Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference, the streams of keynote speeches by CEO Mark Benioff and Hilary Clinton drew record-setting audiences.

One way Ustream has addressed this challenge of being able to scale and anticipate required bandwidth is through a unique technology we developed called Software Defined content delivery network (CDN), or SD-CDN.

SD-CDN provides the ability to scale automatically without manual provisioning of resources, dynamically adding and removing edges and providers as demand requires. The system can leverage a combination of edge resources (e.g. CDN providers, transit lines, peering and ad-hoc edges, etc.) and instantly route traffic among those sources as needed. A built-in monitoring system evaluates in real time the performance and efficacy of each source and can make automatic adjustments as changing conditions require.

What does all this mean for the individual viewer? The best possible quality from beginning to end — and the ability to pre-empt issues that could disrupt the viewing experience.

Now that’s what we call a big win.

Learn about the best solution for your big event here.

Is 2015 “The Year of Video?”

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When that famous ball dropped in Times Square to mark the start of 2015, millions of viewers around the world had access to the event thanks to Ustream’s six-hour live streaming broadcast. It was a most appropriate beginning to what Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable is calling “The Year of Video.”

“I think 2015 will be the year of video,” Hunstable recently told the International Business Times, “so it’s sort of fitting that we bring this into the new year with this really interactive, really HD, high-quality New Year’s Eve presentation.”

So what is driving this surging interest in live streaming video? One word: business.

“The business model for Ustream has been traditionally advertising,” Hunstable said, “but what’s interesting is over the past few years we’ve really doubled down our efforts to become a SAAS [Software-as-a-Service] company. We’ll license and sell our technology to media companies and enterprises that need really powerful and highly scalable video solutions.” (Read the full article here.)

Hunstable echoed those same sentiments when he spoke with SiliconANGLE at IBM Impact 2014:

“If you look at where the growth is happening in video — most people don’t realize this — most of the growth in this next wave is going to happen within the enterprise … The enterprise is a tremendous opportunity, and what you’re going to see coming from Ustream, we’re going to continue to provide really robust solutions that solve the needs of these organizations for productivity, transparency, to connect with consumers and their employees in deeper ways … Every corporation today is a media company.”

The data supports Hunstable’s assertions: According to a recent study by The Aberdeen Group, 95 percent of Best-in-Class marketers are using video as part of their content marketing mix.

So, will 2015 be “The Year of Video?” We think so!

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